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IEC hopes to add 1 million more new voters as election approach

So far, 26 million voters are currently registered, with the IEC hoping to add another million more by the end of the month.

A screengrab of the IEC's chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo giving an update on voter registration in Midrand, Johannesburg. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says its ready for the final voter registration drive this weekend.

The IEC says this is the last opportunity for eligible South African voters to register their details ahead of elections.

So far, 26 million voters are currently registered, with the IEC hoping to add another million more by the end of the month.

The IEC says its data currently shows that almost 10 million people between the ages of 18 and 30 are eligible to vote but are not registered.

Chairperson Glen Mashinini has urged young people to take this opportunity to register to vote.

“To the young people, we say to them ‘come forward and register because this is your opportunity.'”

CEO Sy Mamabolo says preparations are well underway at the IEC’s 22,925 voting stations throughout the country.

“Special registration drives are also being planned for tertiary institutions once they open in February to help boost youth registrations.”

Mamabolo says each voting station will be equipped with a so-called zip ID scanner which links each visitor to their station and ward.

PARTY FUNDING BILL WELCOMED

The IEC is the latest to welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa's signing into law of the Political Party Funding Bill.

This means it's now law for political parties to reveal who is funding them every year.

The IEC says the act will serve to enhance transparency and help to ensure an informed electorate in the future.

The commission says the plan is to implement the Political Party Funding Act in a staggered process beginning from 1 April.

This is in line with the IEC’s available funding and also allows for the development of capacity within the commission to meet its obligations.

Mmamabolo says any donations made to political parties above R100,000 have to be disclosed.

“Let’s say both parties don’t disclose, there are in-built consequences in the act itself. There are fines that can be meted out by the commission.”

The IEC says an important part of implementation also includes educating and training political parties as well as private donors on the new act.